- Vinyl (12 Sept. 2011)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Wax Time
- ASIN: B005DZMN2U
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 294,990 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Brilliant Corners (180g) [VINYL]
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Brilliant Corners (feat. Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Oscar Pettiford, Clark Terry, Paul Chambers) [Mono Version]
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Top Customer Reviews
This is one of the best of them. Monk is accompanied by Ernie Henry on alto (replaced on 'Bemsha Swing' by Clark Terry), Sonny Rollins on tenor. Oscar Pettiford on bass and Max Roach on drums. All play well. Henry was a little known musician who had recorded with Dizzy Gillespie in 1948 and then disappeared from view until 1956 when he recorded a few times and then disappeared again. Had circumstances been different he could have been one of the greats. Here he solos in an angular, hard blown style that fits perfectly with Monk. Rollins had a slightly difficult relationship with Monk, at least in musical terms, often soloing in a fairly subdued manner, at other times battling with Monk for dominance. Here he plays at his best with Monk, forceful, inventive, and not allowing himself to be dominated. Pettiford plays superbly, precise and swinging throughout. Max Roach, not my favourite drummer plays well, never quiet but never taking the music over as he could tend to do. He solos on most tracks, but never at undue length.Read more ›
Monk's group for this disc contained Sonny Rollins (a name with which I was much more familiar), but personnel changes were prevalent throughout the record, mainly because of the near impossibility of the title track. Jarring notes and tempo changes hit at what follows over the rest of the record, although the simplicity of piano only "I surrender dear," the only non-original on the record, suggests that Monk had a wonderful grasp and feel for many types of music. It proves that he was not a slave to the dizzying harmonics of bebop.
Not always an easy listen, but for anyone serious about jazz it is an essential recording. The extra track is an aborted attempt at "Pannonica" containg only the first chorus. The mastering throughout is excellent.
The title piece is one of the single major works in the jazz canon. It proved so difficult to play that 25 separate cuts had to be spliced together to produce the final piece. Sonny Rollins was the tenor saxophonist on the date and leading guest musician. As a teenager, Rollins had rehearsed alongside Monk. His contribution to "Brilliant Corners" was devastating: he acquired a feel for the unusual structure of the piece -abrupt changes of tempo, bombast followed by bathos, sudden diabolical runs, jumps into double time- and became Monk's voice through a horn, while retaining the unmistakeable Rollins attack. And all this drama was held together by the polyrhythmic adaptability of Max Roach, who had played so magnificently with Rollins a few months earlier on Saxophone Colossus.
The rest of the album contains the eccentric blues "Ba-lue Bolivar Ba-lues-are" (which appears on numerous early 1960s discs, including Monk's Dream, Columbia, 1962), the first recording of "Pannonica", written for the wealthy jazz-lover Pannonica "Nica" de Koenigswarter, in whose New York apartment Charlie Parker had died the year before, "Bemsha Swing", first recorded by Monk in 1952 and on this occasion featuring Duke Ellington's chief trumpeter Clark Terry, and a solo reading of "I Surrender, Dear". This is an essential modern jazz album.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a shame there's only 5 stars available; it deserves many more.Published 14 months ago by AndyB
Yet another great 2LP 180g vinyl re-issue! So good to see classic jazz albums like these available in quality pressings - the sound is superb & and you would not believe the... Read morePublished on 13 April 2015 by Jim B
Regarding the music of this classic Monk album see the other 5 star reviews, I would like to add that the 'Keepnews Collection' edition of this CD is far superior to my old... Read morePublished on 4 April 2014 by Yosan
Thelonius Monk as an artist has few parallels in jazz. The nearest might be Charlie Mingus. Both men wholly individual in their approach, producing music that frequently challenged... Read morePublished on 24 Oct. 2013 by os